Day 8 - Nottingham Road

So begins the (somewhat) serious part of the tour, for today we break the seals on our gun boxes and attempt to send small pieces of metal at high velocity through pieces of paper some distance away - yes, the shooting has begun.

The day began with a good breakfast in Fordoun, followed by a short drive to the range at Nottingham Road. First business of the day was checking that all our kit was present and correct, and getting rifles screwed back together after the trip to the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately for Gareth, breaking the seal on his gun box required a key, which wasn't sufficiently geographically close to be of any use (back in the hotel).

The order of play for the day was one warm up shot, and then 2 and 10 at 300m, followed by 2 and 11 at 600 metres, and 2 and 15 at 900. We were shooting an individual competition against the Notts Road members. Thankfully no-one had forgotten anything important, including rifle bolts, and so the shooting was able to commence; slightly later than planned, thanks to the inevitable faff factor of 21 shooters trying to get organised.

300 went OK for most, but as we moved back to 600, the clouds began to gather, and before long, the inevitable spots of water started appearing on the scorebooks of those shooting. Then the heavens opened, and the unfortunate second detail got completely soaked. Thankfully, this being South Africa, it didn't take long for everyone to dry back out again. And so back to the clubhouse for tea and medals. Outturn from the day saw Jon Underwood winning the competition having not dropped a point (no massive surprises there) with Rick coming in a close second. Gareth recorded a zero score, until realising that he had been the only member of the team not to hand in his register card, at which point he did somewhat better.

As we packed up and finally left the range after a damp and gloomy finish to the day, we came across the rambling herd of cows that have been ever-present during our trips to the range. Unfortunately, they had escaped onto the main road, causing many a car horn to be honked in bovine anger. Our intrepid adventurers, CJ, Jonny and Nigel leapt out of their van and managed to persuade 20 soon-to-be-barbecued animals back along the road and into the Nottingham Road range complex, before spoiling their fun by closing the gate behind them. We can only assume that this sealed their fate as tomorrow's lunch.

The team had a quick turnaround at Fordoun, and then headed back to the clubhouse for dinner with the Nottingham Road shooters. Unfortunately, one of the vans picked up some damage on the way, courtesy of a slight misunderstanding between the captain and the reversing warning beep on his van. According to Iain, anything as important as a warning that the van is about to hit something should be announced in a human voice rather than with a "stupid beeping noise."

Quote of the day goes to DC for "Have you got any nail varnish" to Lauren. Clearly looking to spruce up a bit for the team photo.